By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Parks and Rec board searches for new ideas


Last updated 8/9/2020 at 3:59pm | View PDF

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Recreation and Parks Board President Sharon Sharp.

Due to the pandemic, children are missing out on fundamental activities such as in-person classroom teaching, organized physical education, after-school activities, and sports.

New board members of the Wasco Recreation and Parks District are trying to come up with different ways in which kids can participate in activities with all the covid-19 regulations in place.

The district is also excited to have a majority of women on the board this year. "It's unusual to have more women than men." board President Sharon Sharp said.

Facing the challenges created by the coronavirus, Sharp said, "We need to get more creative. We are all trying to develop new ideas where kids can participate in different activities while following the rules and regulations enforced by the governor."

New board members for the district are Sharp, Kayla Castillo, Erica Marin, Rick Snow and Aubrey Wemberly. Castillo, Marin and Wemberly said they are excited to work collaboratively with the high school putting together a program for the children in Wasco.

The board works closely with Recreation and Parks director Vicki Hight.

The park district offers activities for youths, adults and seniors and offers activities such flag football, junior league softball, soccer, softball, summer soccer, swim lessons and Tee-ball.

All of those activities except for swimming have been canceled this summer. Tigersharks swimmers were allowed to return to the pool for a shortened swim season, but no new swimmers were added to the teams.

"Usually we offer recreational swimming every summer, but couldn't do that this summer," Sharp said.

The recreation and parks board has been meeting all summer long in hopes of creating some new activity ideas.

Sharp brought up that the dynamics of the board changed when three of its members selected were women.

Castillo, an English teacher at Wasco High, grew up in Buttonwillow and when she married her husband, they moved to Wasco. "There are a lot more opportunities in a small town," Castillo said. "We are a small enough program so that our sports program could be a feeder into the high school athletic programs."

Castillo said she believes children benefit from playing sports as youngsters by learning the rules and strategies of the game.

Marin, also a first-time board member, said she wanted to be on the board because of her kids' interest in the activities.

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

New Recreation and Parks District board member Kayla Castillo.

The new board members agreed that the kids need to strengthen their softball and basketball skills.

"Partnering with the high school in sports activities will make for better players," they said.

Sharp also said that the board feels responsible for creating new ideas for activities for kids.

Everyone is invited to the parks and recreation board meetings held the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Wasco Recreation and Parks District room at Barker Park on Poplar. "We would love to see more community involvement at the meetings," Sharp said.

The board members feel parks are important for the communities in which they are located.

Current board members include Sharp, Marin, Castillo, Wemberly, Snow and Nacho Martinez.


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